ATHE Senior Theatre Conference 2011

Young at Heartland performed at the 2011 ATHE Conference


Wow! What a wonderful conference it was! The Senior Theatre sessions at the 2011 conference were informative and inspirational. We met in Chicago from August 11-14, 2011.

Here are some highlights:

Joy Reilly

Lorelei Goldman and Joy Reilly

Life, Death, and Repair: Using Lifewriting, Personal History, and Reminiscence to create Powerful Theatre

Personal stories form the basis of meaningful theatre. Learn how to blend difficult issues, past memories, and life stories into vibrant productions.

Panel Chair: Joy Reilly, Ohio State University


  • Joy Reilly,  “Memories of Life and old age to Death and beyond—with Howling at the Moon.” Ohio State University
  • Lorelei Goldman,  “Reminiscence and Repair,” Psychodrama Training Institute of Chicago, Training Director
Wrenn Goodrum
Oral History to Theatre: The Unbroken Circle
Discover how to retrieve, share, and perform personal narratives using oral history. This journey of exploration, discovery, and personal reflection helps performers discover inner strength.Workshop Chair: Steven Pennell, Coordinator of Urban Arts and Culture URI ProvidenceParticipants:
  • D. Terry Petrie, Utah Valley University
  • Dr. Wrenn Goodrum, Activate Community Through Theatre
Steven Pennell

Gray and Gay: Sharing the Past, Living into the Future through Oral History and Performances

Plays and oral history productions help GLBTQ elders explore aging. This elusive issue, a major obstacle, is featured in scripted plays including The Journey Out.

Panel & performance Chair: Steven Pennell


  • Steven Pennell, “The Journey Out” an Oral History to Performance Project,” Coordinator of Urban Arts and Culture URI Providence
  • Cynthia Glinick,  “The Journey Out” an Oral History to Performance Project”
  • Journalist, Actor, Handywoman
  • FrankV. Toti Jr.,  “The Journey Out” an Oral History to Performance Project,” Playwright, Director, Educator
  • Paul T Lockwood, “The Next Frontier: Gays, Lesbians, and the Prospect of Aging on Stage,” Theatre Lecturer, The Ohio State University


Senior Theatre Focus Group Meeting

Learn about the Focus Group and how attendees can contribute to the Focus Group’s goals, leadership and future plans. Join a discussion of Senior Theatre news and trends, discover where you fit.

Steven Pennell & Bonnie L. Vorenberg

Participants: Anyone who is interested in Senior Theatre

Joan Kole

AgeQuake Theatre’s Leading Ladies Ensemble: The How, Why & What

Older performers discuss how they became involved in a theatre company for aging performers, the benefits of their involvement, and why they continue.

Panel & Performance Chair: Bonnie L. Vorenberg


joan e. kole, ph.d., AgeQuake Theatre “Starting and Maintaining the Leading Ladies Ensemble”

Theatre & Aging: Theories & Practices

Discover the latest surveys, scientific studies, and theories to document the benefits of older adults performing on stage.

Panel Chair: Bonnie L. Vorenberg


  • Bonnie L. Vorenberg, “Results of the Senior Theatre Survey, ArtAge Senior Theatre Resource Center
  • Helga and Tony Noice, “Acting on Your Mind,” Elmhurst College
  • Jon Zaley, “Creating Successful Weekday Luncheon Theatre,” Vintage Productions
  • Valerie Lipscomb, Ph.D., “Embodying Memory:  Older Performers,” Assistant Professor of English, University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee
Scott Strode

Great Age Series: Time of Your Life Players and Neighbor Tarkington

Discover an older adult performing group and one-person show to learn how to create and maintain a theatre program with seniors.

Panel & Performance Chair: Steven Pennell


  • Avrum Krause,  Time of Your Life Players
  • Scott K. Strode, Professor Emeritus of Theatre, Manchester College
Young at HeartlandStarting and Maintaining Young at Heartland: A Performance and Discussion
This successful senior acting workshop and performance troupe has tripled its membership and built a vibrant program of classes and touring shows, featuring a top-selling playwright.Performance & Discussion Chair: Steven Pennell
  • Ann B. White, “Organizing Young at Heartland”
  • D.Ann Jones, “Teaching at Young at Heartland”
  • Terri Ryburn, “Writing for Young at Heartland”

We look forward to seeing you at the 2012 conference in Washington D.C.!

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